Air India’s Move to Single Global Distribution Service Platform Raises Concerns Among Travel Agents

Travelport won the bid to become the sole global distribution platform for Air India. The move will help Air India to reduce the distribution cost by 60%.

By May 18th, 2019 AT 6:29 PM
Highlights:
  • Travel agent bodies suggest Air India to withdraw its decisions to disconnect its inventory from any existing GDS service provider.
  • Travelport’s service will come into effect from November 2018 and will be fully implemented by the end of the 2019.

The travel industry associations Travel Agents Association of India (TAAI) and Travel Agents Federation of India (TAFI) have voiced their strong opposition to Air India’s decision to shift exclusively to a single global distribution service (GDS) platform. The bodies have urged the air service provider not to discontinue the inventory from other existing service providers as it will pose a threat to their survival.

TAAI and TAFI have voiced their concerns through a letter addressing to Air India Chairman and Managing Director Pradeep Singh Kahrola. In the letter, the industry bodies have accused the authoritarian act of the airline of not consulting the stakeholders before making such a significant move.

Air India

We earnestly suggest and request that this initiative by Air India to disconnect its inventory from any existing GDS be immediately withdrawn, the letter said. The associations term the move as a violation of the ‘Competition Law’ and raises the possibility of financial implications for the airline.

According to a report by Business Standard, Air India said that the decision is in the best interest of the airline. It will save 60% of Air India’s distribution cost. This was a move that was opposed by its previous Chairman and Managing Director Rajiv Bansal on the grounds that it will curtail the market reach leading to loss of booking.

Travelport wins Air India’s GDS Contract after Bidding

Recently, the travel commerce platform Travelport won the bidding for the sole distribution of its domestic flight content in the Indian market. The service will come into effect from November 2018 and will be fully implemented by the end of 2019. “The agreement confirms Air India’s continued deployment of Travelport Rich Content and Branding, now used by over 270 airlines. This displays airlines’ graphical content, their fares families and a full range of ancillary products.  It means that Travelport will provide the same content as Air India’s direct-selling channels,” a press release by Travelport Worldwide Limited stated.

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Also Read: Air India Express Flight Schedules from Kannur International Airport

Travelport has been targeting for business expansion in India in recent years, especially after the acquisition of the business from online travel agencies such as MakeMyTrip, Ibibo, Yatra, EaseMyTrip and ClearTrip. Besides, it has also extended its business associations with hotel groups such as Oberoi, Taj, Treebo and Trident.

Ria is a lead news writer at Aviation Scoop. She writes from dawn to dusk, reads in the evenings, and draws at some ungodly hours. She loathes human interaction, and finds solace in the sweet, musky smell of old books, and rain. Find her on Twitter here - @rialakshman.

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